Links To The Present: April 29, 2010

April 29th, 2010 by Tom Pestak

“In the Bulls series, I don’t think the Cavs were expecting Chicago to play as long and as hard as they did. And the Cavs had to ratchet it up to stay with them. But they know what it’s going to be like with the Celtics. And going into the series as the favorite is also something they’re going to have to live up to.” [Austin Carr's Blog]

Bulls/Cavs Series in 2 minutes.

“Asked if the Cavs did anything differently against the outspoken Noah in the close-out game, O’Neal dismissed the disser as an irrelevancy. He said the easy baskets Noah got on the weakside (the side away from the ball) came on rebounds or on passes after O’Neal helped out on Derrick Rose’s penetration. Rose and Kirk Hinrich were the Cavs’ focus, he said.” [Bill Livingston on Shaq]

“We’ll figure it out,” James said, not showing the least bit of worry. “We have the best docs in Cleveland.” [LeBron quoted by Brian Windhorst]

“Finding the problem was key because James was unsure what was causing him stinging pain and numbness in the arm. Second, the diagnosis is not serious and the Cavaliers said James is not expected to miss any time with the injury.” [Brian Windhorst on LeBron's Elbow Exam]

“It still feels as if the Cavs are a work in progress, not hitting on all cylinders. Before Tuesday’s game, Cavs coach Mike Brown lauded the play of James, Jamison and Mo Williams, but said O’Neal and West had yet to get going.” [Marla Ridenour on the State of the Cavs]

“And if the Cavs are comfortably ahead at that point, I believe James will point the way with his left hand only.  Who can’t wait for Saturday to roll around  Raise your good hand or your sling. Either one counts.” [Bud Shaw]

“This is a perfect series for this year’s Cavaliers. They have a habit of playing down to lower-level teams, but rise up and play beautifully against the ‘elite’. Boston, despite its weak regular season finish, still has the polish and image of a championship team. I expect the Cavaliers to dismantle the Celtics with speed and aggression in game 1, followed by a tough win in game 2. Game 3 in Boston will be the hardest of the series. But I can’t see Cleveland losing inspiration like they did against the Bulls in Round 1. This one could go only 5, but I’m still a little intimidated by the Celtics on their home floor, simply because I’m a Cleveland sports fan and give way too much credit to the team we’re playing.” [P.D. Parr on The Celtics/Cavs matchup]

“I can’t help but think about how much the roles are reversed from last year when the Cavaliers flew through the first 2 rounds before facing a buzz saw in the form of a tough battle-tested Magic team. Hopefully that will also reverse the fortunes of last year. I don’t mean to get ahead of myself here, but it helps to put these struggles into context and I only bring it up now as some food for thought as the Cavaliers go through this vicious 2nd round matchup.” [Andrew @ WFNY]

“Defensively, I’m fine with that line-up matching up against the Cavs’ small groups outlined above.  Offensively, though, I worry that the team can go through cold stretches when Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen share the court. We saw this against the Heat, when Erik Spoelstra went to a zone immediately when he saw the TA/Rondo back court and stuck with it until Doc replaced either Rondo or TA with a shooter.” [Zach Lowe – CelticsHub

A look at the Cavs/Celtics rivalry in YouTube Clips

Tweets To The Present: (follow me @tompestak)

“LeBron just bought a RingPop for each finger and is wearing them all. He is embarrassing me.” [LeBronsElbow]

“When @LeBronsElbow passes me in followers, I think that will be a sign to do some serious soul searching.” [Ken Berger]

“LeBron should be fine unless he takes another direct hard hit. Based on history, I’m sure the Celtics will play cleanly and avoid it.” [Brian Windhorst]